Shoosmiths saw revenue, profit and average profit per equity partner increase by single digits in the financial year to April 2022.
Revenue increased £181.8 million up 8% on last years £167.9 million.
Net profit also increased by 9% year-on-year to £60.7 million, a more conservative growth than 2021’s 31%.
There was a more reserved rise in PEP of 3% to £675,000, compared to the previous year which saw it soar by 41%.
Shoosmiths CEO David Jackson noted that the firm was coming off the back of a particularly “stunning last year” and although all three financial metrics are still rising steadily, the more reserved increases “could be put down to the ongoing impact of the pandemic”, whilst the firm’s managed to maintain “cost base at a steady state level”.
In January, the firm opened its first ever international office, hiring an EY partner to head the base in Brussels. Chris Stanton, the firm’s CFO commented the opening of the Brussels office was “driven by client lead, using it as a key driver to grow the firm as an initial bridge head into Brussels at the moment”.
Still in its early stages the base is “not significant for financials as of yet”, he added.
There were also office changes in the City, with the firm moving into a significantly larger 40,000 sq ft base in August.
Jackson said there were no plans for any additional offices in the U.K. and in terms of international expansion, adding: “Never say never, but there’s nothing on the cards imminently”.
Sectors particularly lucrative for the firm included real estate transactions which were “extremely high”, according to Jackson, as well as corporate, which he hopes to continue seeing a “relatively strong pipeline” of work as the premium mid-market space is holding up.
Some new clients for Shoosmiths during the financial year included Taylor Wimpey, French Connection and Birmingham Airport.
Shoosmiths brought forward its annual pay review by two months and made a discretionary payment to all its staff equal to 3% of salary as a ‘thank you’ in May, as well as providing an additional £1,000 payment in September for all employees to help with the cost-of-living.
Looking to the next financial year Jackson explained that the first thing he had to do when stepping into the role of CEO in May was set the budget and introduce a new firmwide strategy. No financial metrics or goals have been set intentionally, which “might sound odd” said Jackson, but by prioritising the quality of the firm’s clients and people instead of what can be “dangerous” financial targets, then “the financials take care of themselves”.
So far in this reporting season firms have continued to post strong results. Knights’ top earner pay increased fivefold, Pinsent Masons PEP leaped 16% for the second year in a row and Herbert Smith Freehills hit record heights across all three core financial metrics.